Order from Disorder: Measuring Reversibility and Local Equilibration in Self-Assembly


Grant, J., 2012. Order from Disorder: Measuring Reversibility and Local Equilibration in Self-Assembly. Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Bath.

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    We illustrate self-assembly with several systems which aim to harness the process of assembly to create new functional structures. The concept of kinetic trapping preventing assembly and the importance of reversibility, breaking as well as making bonds, for avoiding such traps are introduced. We aim to identify how reversible systems are, with the aim of aecting the prediction, control and design of new systems. In four systems a lattice gas model, and three models based upon patchy particle schemes, a yield is dened and used to identify optimal assembly at a given time. Three measurements relevant to reversibility are described, applied, and compared with the results of similar studies. The rst simply counts the bonding and un-bonding events, or kinks, over the whole assembly process and compares the total number of events with the net bonding events. We measure values of 100 􀀀 1000kinks per bond in crystal systems, and 60 􀀀 200 for closed structures. In analogy with a toy model the values can be related to a `forgivingness', a ratio of bad bonding sites, to good ones. We then turn to measurements at early times which allow for the prediction of when assembly will occur. These include rate measurements of kinks which provide an instant measure of reversibility and comparison of correlation and response functions with the equilibrium uctuation dissipation theory. These methods examine the dynamics of the assembly process while our third approach examines the structures during assembly. We examine how each of the measurements provide information about the assembly process and how it relates to the particles, their interactions and the nal structure. The possibility of using the methods in combination is shown to be relevant to the prediction of assembly and how they might be used to implement design and control schemes to improve assembly.


    Item Type Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
    CreatorsGrant, J.
    DepartmentsFaculty of Science > Physics
    Publisher StatementUnivBath_PhD_2012_J_Grant.pdf: © The Author
    ID Code35307


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